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  • Writer's pictureJessica Head

The Weight of Our Words

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

This morning, I had the opportunity and privilege to speak at Cornerstone's chapel about the weight and power that lie in our words. Taming the tongue is something that I struggle with specifically, so when the chapel guild told me my topic, I chuckled a bit inwardly. The truth is, most of us struggle with this. In the digital age we live in, we are constantly bombarded by noise from online and televised news outlets that make money off of criticizing and berating others. It's hard for us not to follow suit, but if we are followers of Christ, our words should, in turn, bring life to those around us, not demolish and wound.

Below is a shortlist that I gave our students that marks some characteristics between life-taking and life-giving speech. This list is not exhaustive. The Bible is packed full of verses on the dangers of the tongue and the good and evil that can follow if not used properly. I pray this list benefits you in some way – it was very convicting to my heart as I was studying this past week. May we be people who are marked by life-giving words that point to the true Life-Giver, Jesus Christ.

- Life-taking speech seeks to cause pain and strife to those around them, but life-giving speech brings healing and comfort. (Proverbs 12:18)

- Life-taking speech seeks to make much of self, regardless of cost, while life-giving speech seeks the betterment of those around them. (Philippians 2:3)

- Those with life-taking speech like to hear themselves speak, causing quarrels at every turn, while those with life-giving speech seek to smooth conflict and bring peace. (Proverbs 15:1)

- Life-taking speech seeks to criticize, but life-giving speech seeks to edify and build up. (Ephesians 4:29)

- Life-Taking speech always seeks to have the last word, while life-giving speech knows when to hold their tongue and be quiet. (Proverbs 10:19)

- Those with life-taking speech don't think before speaking, spewing evil at every turn, while life-giving speech pauses to weigh its response. (Proverbs 15:28)

- Life-taking speech seeks to mask their words with lies, charm, and deception, while life-giving speech is truth-filled, grace-filled, and seasoned with salt. (Proverbs 26:24-26, Colossians 4:6)

- Life-taking speech hates those they lie about and to, while life-giving speech loves, admonishes, and uplifts those in their community. (Proverbs 26:28)

- Those with life-taking speech are proud, seeking the world's approval and favor, while life-giving speech is humble, knowing the fear of the Lord will lead to eternal life. (Proverbs 22:4)

Photo by Annie Spratt from Upsplash


Related Resources/Articles:

The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing: an Exposition on James 3:1-2 by Sinclair Ferguson

Women Encouraged: Taming the Tongue by Jessica Head

TGC Interview: How Do You Keep a Reign on Your Tongue featuring Nancy Guthrie, Jackie Hill Perry, and Jen Wilkin


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